Bruukta's Big one

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:13 pm

Ok guys, here’s the beginning of my still build.

I Didnt end up Posting it to start with as i figured it would sit dormant for a few months so its sort of what my plans were to start with and the changes i have made already basically straight up

I lucked out on getting the 2”+ copper from wherever I tried locally and surrounds so last resort I posted up Facebook market place add looking for some.
Minutes before it was remove due to being a wanted post (not a sale post). I got a message from a bloke and he sorted me out with everything I needed for 2”+ copper wise.
Bonus 1: I lived between his work and home so he dropped it off for me on his travels.
Bonus 2: He had an inkling it was for a still and had built his own so got a bit of advice to go.
My partner works at a winery so anything stainless I require I will source from what’s available there.

I have spent more time researching than I think it will take to build the still with plenty more to go and then nearly the same doing design sketches that resemble a 2 yr olds drawings so I can sort out what I need to buy. Being time poor doesn’t help the situation. I’m hoping I can have this going before the start of summer so I can utilize the solar panels on the roof. I have made enough to last me through until then…. I hope.

I plan to build what I can myself but undecided on buying a complete 4’ 4 plate bubbler kit due to free time and less hassle of having to source the stainless threaded rods flanges etc. that will depend on the Aussie $$
I’m looking at grabbing a TIG welder to make the copper cone pieces and for welding the keg up. That way I can add another tool to the every growing shed. Note: I haven’t TIG welded before so a little learning curve but can MIG, oxy and solder so I hope I can adapt quickly.
My basic plan is a 4” 4 plate glass bubbler with RC into a 2” shotgun. And depending how much pipe I have leftover will depend how long my packed column will be. Although the more I read the more I see it doesn’t really do as much as expected when adding it onto the bubblers so I might even have to add another plate or 2.
I will make a parrot once it’s up and running or if I finish it early enough and still have the motivation. I was secretly hoping we would be forced into isolation for a few weeks and I’d be able to knock this up in no time.
As for my keg I was hoping to invert it and put a 6” ferrule out the top with a 6” union sight glass offset on the top/front side for view/fill/cleaning port.
Add 2 weldless elements at least 2x 2400w or a 2400w and a 3600w. I’m still undecided. I have 10kw Solar so summer it isn’t an issue running huge power and I have my shed wired up with the circuits I need but I’m not sure how to voltage control it as the 'unwelcome advertiser' controller can only cope with 10amp. If I can turn the 3600w off once it’s hot and the 2400w is capable then that will be the go.
I’ll utilize the 2” ferrule at the bottom for the drain by adding a tap. I was planning on some long legs to be able to empty it into a bucket but after reading a few posts it seems it may be a little unstable due to the height. I notice a lot have the outlet not far from the ground with a hose on it. Do you just syphon out most of it then have somewhere to drain the last 10 or so Liters?
Some other thoughts were adding a heat exchanger into a 2nd keg that I will have ready for a 2nd run to
1. Preheat the 2nd mash (If I’m going to do a run I might as well spend the whole day out there.)
2. Precool the recirculated water before going into the holding tank as I’m not sure how much more the new still is going to heat the water compared to the tiny T500 reflux and pot. ~350L holding tank.
I can add a radiator and fan to this as well and/or even another 200L but will just see how it goes.
If I had seen the posts about using an old aircon unit for the cooling I would probably have tried to source one of them purely just because it looks neater and would take up less space but I had already build my recirculated water stand by them.

My next step is doing a 200k round trip to Bunnings and grabbing some tools and other pieces of copper I need to start building but with the COVID19 recommended isolation ill just wait it out now. Also apparently wood cutting and other chores are more important…. :angry-banghead:
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:20 pm

The missus went to bunnings the other day and collected nearly all the other stuff I needed. the guy ended up selling her the wrong flux paste which I didn't realise until after I attempted to use it and the solder just wouldn't stick and I was wondering wtf I was doing wrong (I have and can solder but never done it on anything this big). I ended up fucking up my easy flange slightly as I had to hit the ring off again and then it didn't seem to want to sit flat with the flange and didn't realise until after I had soldered it.

Alright guys so today I decided I should really start getting onto building this thing or it will never happen.
I ordered a few things for the keg boiler from online a few weeks ago and also ended up getting the 4" 4 plate bubbler... Hopefully they are half decent. I cant see me getting the time to build one and have it ready before I run outta grog.
this is what I purchased
Image

Here's all the copper goodness
Image

figured i'd make a start on the RC and see how these easy flanges work.
I scribed a mark 6mm in from the edge and then used a shifter to gently flare the edge over enough to start hitting it with the hammer. I made the easy flanges (ended up 1 short as my 1/4" copper was a little bit short. I do have some more but think I will still end up not having enough.
once I cut my rings I bent them to line up and tidied up the ends by squeezing them lightly over the 1mm grinder blade to debur them and so they matched each other perfectly. it worked a treat. then gapped it at about half a mil for the hard solder to get a bit of bite on the inside of the pipe too. it was a near perfect fit on the pipe and didnt crack once flattened.
Image

after flattening and soldering it (once i used the right flux) I ended up using some bakers soldering fluid and it flowed in a treat. Trimed it to length and admired my handy work. The leftover of this piece was either 570 or 670mm so that will turn into my packed section but from what i have read I think i will need to make another 2 plates for neutrals. How many scrubbler do you fit into the 4" pipe per 100mm or a rough guide so I know how many to buy. I got some of those Mr Clean Tuffmates Pot And Pan Scrubs from bunnings but its gonna add up looking at how flat I can push them in. Is there a cheaper/better way?

Im lacking an anvil, a decent vise and even a decent bench so struggling on a few of the steps. to get the edge on a bit of a taper I chucked a sheet of steel on my workbench and had the piece sitting right at the edge. This allowed my hammer to hang over the edge of the bench when striking the flange and give me the taper I was looking for. The setup below was to not burn my bench while soldering (an old laminate bench top from a kitchen).
Image

Even though I was thinking of taking pictures along the way I literally forgot half of them. :roll:

My plans have also changed mainly on the boiler setup.

Went with a 2400w and 3600w element.
The keg is now back upright and will put a 4" sight glass at the top with a 6" flange for the column and will go 6 to 4" I figured if I ever went to a 6" column because I have gone crazy then I can and if I need to increase my boiler capacity I will cut the keg in half and get a piece of stainless rolled up to fit the gap that would probably lift the whole setup 600mm or so. I have seen a few 118L kegs done like that.

under the keg im going to run a drain pipe out the bottom/side hopefully making it able to fully drain. I will need 5 or so meters of tube to dispose of the leftovers and a place to dump it without burning the grass :))
I'm also thinking of adding/having it capable of pre-heating on gas as well to save power/decrease my wait times even more. Hence my redesign and the fact I couldn't buy the fittings I was looking for to reuse the keg flange if it was upside down.

All in all I have a start and should be able to get most of what I need done before the parts for my keg boiler rock up.
Still got a few tri clamps to get, a bit more 1/4" pipe and some material for the keg legs but other than that I think i'm pretty sorted.

Anyone got any tips on cleaning the copper up easily? the inside of the 4" pipe I have has this scum that takes a lot of elbow grease to get it off im using a green scourer and ended up spraying a bit of foreshots in the mix and that helped but still took a bit of cleaning up. The outside was a little easier but still more effort than I had hoped :laughing-rolling:
Last edited by B-Man on Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby scythe » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:56 am

Soak your dirty pipe in citric acid for a few days and it will eat away any copper based tarnish.
But if you want it to happen faster use some emery on it first to clear out the the bulk of it then give it a soak over night
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:25 pm

Cheers,
Havent picked up any citric yet but will do soon.

Finished the RC skin just need to deal with the inside.
I got some massive blobs of solder from soldering the water pipes on is there an easier way to get rid of it without melting it and the pipe falling off?

Also have an easy flange question but have posted that in the easyflange thread https://aussiedistiller.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=76&p=232176#p232176
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:54 pm

Got a little more done tonight

Sanded the flanges smooth on my RC worked a treat nice and flat now and being so short you cant notice the massive lean it would have :))
hopefully it seals on the small lip I have on there. Also soldered my water pipes on the side of the RC and then just drilled straight through it after they were soldered on. Im not sure how others have done this but this worked great. the holes lined up perfectly :D and they are stuck solid. This soft solder is good shit!
20200805_193917.jpg


prepped my 2" ezy flange rings - had a little issue and had wound the coil too tight so when cut they had a decent sized gap at the join for them to fit on the 2" pipe... hard soldered the mil or 2 gap and see what happens :scared-eek: The 4" due to the larger circumference had the leeway in it and i had excess but the 2" being so much smaller was less forgiving.

Trimmed up the external and internals for my shotty, Just need to make an easy flange, Some discs to hold the pipes and the conical end. Waiting to see what pipe I have left over to flatten out for my discs for the shotty and RC inc baffle

Prepped the top elbows - I'm guessing I make the flange first then solder it into the fitting otherwise I won't be able to fit the ring on?
Also would you put some pipe in the elbow if your making a 4" to 2" reducer to go from the deflag to the elbow and hard solder/tig or if your were clever enough incorporate that into the reducer cone? im thinking about making the cone go slightly smaller than 2" and having the pipe fit over the top to solder on then grind out the but left on the inside. I'm thinking hard solder due to the side force it will have with the shotty hanging off it.
20200805_194450.jpg


Got my socket for the weldless elements and cut it in half on a slight angle so both elements can run parallel in the keg rather than staggering them an inch to two above one another. Still need to get a tig to weld the boiler stuff up but progressing along nicely. maybe even a little further than expected. maybe I should have made the bubbler part too. Although it cost a similar amount without the work :?
20200805_205729.jpg
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Last edited by B-Man on Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:49 pm

Been a slow week.
Not much progress. Plan to smash a few hours out this weekend though.
Few parcels arrived so got the bubbler and assembled that. Also a few boiler pieces sight glass tri clamps etc.
Now that I worked out my ezy flange size I should be able to bend most of them up. Then work on doing the internals for the RC & PC.

Have a double A/C condenser arriving some time this week for my water cooling recirculator. Might make a stainless header tank on top will have to see how its all going to work....
Anyone reccomend a how many L/min the pump should do? Eyeing off a 65w 40L/min pump to replace my 25w ???L/min. Plan to place the pump as high as I can to help the flow rate.

Bubble plates have a 15mm bath depth... I didnt measure the diameter to see if I could put a piece of pipe in them to increase to 25mm if required.
20200812_190921_0000_copy_1024x819.png

Copper bubblers and plates looked to be decent quality.
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Last edited by B-Man on Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby Scubadriver » Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:19 pm

Can I ask where you got the 4 plate section from and how much it was mate?
I have the the 4” pipe already cut up ready to make some bubble tees but I think it would just take me too long, it’s been a while since I made my shotgun and deflag, I think I’ve forgotten how to solder.
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby Birdman85 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:58 pm

Scubadriver wrote:Can I ask where you got the 4 plate section from and how much it was mate?
I have the the 4” pipe already cut up ready to make some bubble tees but I think it would just take me too long, it’s been a while since I made my shotgun and deflag, I think I’ve forgotten how to solder.


PM
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby Scubadriver » Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:39 pm

Thanks
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:05 am

My 25w pump is 20L/ min guessing at 0m head.
Will see how it goes I guess. Having a look at the A/C condenser next week. Couldnt get there this week.

Heres my dodge anvil i picked up last weekend. Works alot better than the work bench
20200814_214059_copy_1024x2107.jpg


Made the 4" packed section with 9mm easy flange and that was perfect. Got the hang of it now and adjusted the way I do it that works a little better
20200814_214929_copy_1024x2107.jpg


I found fluxing the pipe before putting the flange on then another coat after works well and didnt have to lift it. The second set of 4" easy flanges are alot better
20200814_215107_copy_1024x2107.jpg




The 2" easy flange at 8mm seemed to narrow the throat of the pipe on the edge of the flange. Also has 1 split on me... fixed it with solder see how it goes.
Had trouble soldering the flanges into the elbows without ruining the flange.
20200814_204222_copy_1024x2107.jpg


And finally progress so far.
Got internals to make, tapered cones and dealing with keg.
20200814_222457_copy_1024x2107.jpg


Any tips on cleaning solder out of the elbows? I made z bit of a mess and coated a decent amount on the inside :shock:
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby bluc » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:35 am

These type flap wheels on a drill may help
fc110075767_3m_shaft_mounted_flap_wheel_339_60mm_x_30mm_x_6mm_p040_cbop_p_1__1.jpg
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby Chocko6969 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:41 pm

Any tips on cleaning solder out of the elbows? I made z bit of a mess and coated a decent amount on the inside

Yep the flap wheels are great, especially on a die grinder. I have a dremel that I use with a variety of mini flap wheels/sanding drums/abrasive wheels. Works beautifully, and so many uses while you're building too.

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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:40 pm

bluc wrote:These type flap wheels on a drill may help
fc110075767_3m_shaft_mounted_flap_wheel_339_60mm_x_30mm_x_6mm_p040_cbop_p_1__1.jpg


That would work What size grit?
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby Chocko6969 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 3:53 pm

B-Man wrote:
bluc wrote:These type flap wheels on a drill may help
fc110075767_3m_shaft_mounted_flap_wheel_339_60mm_x_30mm_x_6mm_p040_cbop_p_1__1.jpg


That would work What size grit?


The roughest I'd start is about 80, and be very careful at that because they will go through the copper quite easily. I only used 80 when there was a load of build up, then 120 or 240 to finish the cleanup. Slowly and just use the weight of the tool really as even the fine ones will take it off fairly quickly from solder to copper.

This is all bearing in mind there will be final cleanup by hand for example, fine steel wool etc.

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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:28 pm

Made some more progress on the weekend
RC and PC finished.

RC had a few issues then once done had about 200 leaks during pressure testing but was only 1 at a time :handgestures-thumbdown:
Caused some more damage and alot of solder reflowed....
Got there in the end.
Made a template for the RC as a 5 pipe on a website but didnt realise that wasnt including the center so ended up as a 6 pipe... was already soldered in and caused me a heap of headaches so i wasnt going to pull it out and start again. Will make a new one if this doesnt work as required.
RC has a 500ml capacity
20200816_105437_copy_1024x2107.jpg


20200816_141640_copy_1024x2107.jpg


PC went well over soldered it so it didnt leak... looks like it done the job. I just hooked the air compressor up to a hose with short sharp bursts. Not sure how everyone else tests their's
PC has a 700ml capacity
20200816_163717_copy_1024x2107.jpg

20200816_163731_copy_1024x2107.jpg

20200816_163727_copy_1024x2107.jpg


And a bit of a look at the final product so far.
Still got the tapered cones to make for keg to bubbler, RC to the 180 elbows and the PC. Undecided on a parrot.
And then its onto the keg and stainless work.
20200817_163537_copy_1024x498.jpg
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby dans.brew » Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:53 am

Coming along nicely b-man!
The pc and rc are a bit of fiddly gear to make, but a good accomplishment when they're done!
Keep up the good work. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
A parrot isn't a necessity by any means, but it is a handy tool to use every now and again. I just use it periodically during a run to see what abv is doing.
If you do make one make sure you can bypass it with your output as they do create smearing somewhat if you were to use it all the time.
Last edited by dans.brew on Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby stillthinking » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:47 am

Hi mate I made elbow sections just like yours, I found doing the straight section and easy flanges first the way to go, then I set the easy flange nearest the joint to the elbow in a tray of water to prevent the solder flowing while I soldered the elbow... does that make sense??

Also, do the easy flange on a long section of 2in and then cut it off to length for fitting to the elbow.
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:41 pm

dans.brew wrote:Coming along nicely b-man!
The pc and rc are a bit of fiddly gear to make, but a good accomplishment when they're done!
Keep up the good work. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
A parrot isn't a necessity by any means, but it is a handy tool to use every now and again. I just use it periodically during a run to see what abv is doing.
If you do make one make sure you can bypass it with your output as they do create smearing somewhat if you were to use it all the time.


Yeah avoided the insides of the condensers for a fair while :))
I probably will make a parrot but wont be until after i hade done some runs.. ill be collecting in wine bottles for this still I rekon so can measure each one like i do with stubbies atm.
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:52 pm

stillthinking wrote:Hi mate I made elbow sections just like yours, I found doing the straight section and easy flanges first the way to go, then I set the easy flange nearest the joint to the elbow in a tray of water to prevent the solder flowing while I soldered the elbow... does that make sense??

Also, do the easy flange on a long section of 2in and then cut it off to length for fitting to the elbow.


Yeah makes sense. Already done now.. yeah I had precut the pipe already but just stuck it back in the elbow and worked fine.



Note to self flatten the easy flanges at the very end before assembling... I have sanded them all so many times :shock:

Couldnt get any finer than 60 grit for those flap wheels locally so had to grab 120 grit online.

Sussed out an old aircon unit. Should be perfect for what I'm after. Will pick that up next week hopefully.
Has fans etc just need some switches and should be good, need to sort out the hoses aswell.
Last edited by B-Man on Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bruukta's Big one

Postby B-Man » Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:09 pm

So haven't done anymore yet. A bit time poor atm.

trying to plan out what I have left to do and how to do it and buy all the extra crap I need.... I have gone way over budget as I didn't account for a lot of thing x_x or just changing the way I'm doing everything constantly. Have got a lot of freebies and good deals too.
I think the price is still going to come in under the cost of buying the T500 Kit with pot still. That is including some tools I bought as well except the tig I'm about to buy.

I have 2 questions.
Since I'm not going to have the still on some nice high legs to put a bucket under it as I will be at roof height and might make it unstable. What/where/how do you dispose of your hot crap left in the boiler if your not using it in your second generation?

and I'm thinking of having it duel fuel capable by running gas for a preheat if I wanted I can get cheap gas so if its not a good solar day and i want to run it im not chewing through the power as much. What burners do people recommend and what have the done underneath the keg to suit? im planning on having my elements at the back out of the way having the drain pipe come past the bottom ring of the keg before i put the tap and leaving the bottom ring around the keg to contain the flames/heat. would you drill some holes in the bottom ring at the top where it meets the keg for the flames to disperse up the sides of the keg?
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